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San Angelo State School

Eva W. Horton General Entry

San Angelo State School, located on U.S. Highway 87 seventeen miles north of San Angelo, had its origins in a tuberculosis sanatorium that opened in 1912 (see SANATORIUM, TEXAS). With the declining need for tuberculosis treatment in later decades, the facility became part of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation in September 1969 and was known as the San Angelo Center. Originally, adults from other TXMHMR facilities throughout the state were transferred to San Angelo Center. The population peaked at 791 in 1979. Individuals served at that time were ambulatory and primarily diagnosed with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Today's population is 400 with the majority diagnosed profoundly or severely intellectually disabled. In 1983 the name was once again changed; the San Angelo Center became the San Angelo State School. Since 1977 550 clients from San Angelo State School have been placed in community-based care. As of September 1992 the school employed 810 people. For fiscal year 1992–93 the total budget was $15,136,288. SASS is virtually self-sustaining, providing medical, dental, therapeutic, and psychological services, as well as administrative, social, and community services to the 400 men and women who reside at the school. Volunteer Services provides an additional supportive arm for many of the school's programs. The philosophy of San Angelo State School holds that its basic requirement as a residential school is to provide an environment conducive to growth in independent living skills, opportunities for various therapies, and training for each individual according to his needs for growth and development for the total person-physical, social, psychological, and educational. San Angelo State School's goal is to equip each individual for discharge, if possible, for living in a supervised community setting, or, if that is not possible, for functioning at maximum levels in the campus community.


  • Health and Medicine
  • Education
  • State Schools and Orphanages

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Eva W. Horton, “San Angelo State School,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 28, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: